Sorting out the wedding budget is sometimes an uncomfortable topic, however if you are prepared and follow the ideal budget set, it is more unlikely that you will find bad surprises at the end!

In this blog I will enlist 6 simple steps on how to prepare a wedding on a budget to make your wedding planning process as fun and cost-efficient as possible. You can also watch the video at the end of the article.

Minimalistic mise en place with golden cladlesticks and greenery

Step 1: Figure Out Who’s Contributing

Who is paying for what? Are parents contributing? How much are they contributing and to what area of the budget? Are other family members/friends contributing money or time? Is an aunt paying for the cake and the grandparents paying for a photographer? These are all of the specific details that need to be out in the open. Perhaps it’s just you and your partner. Or maybe your parents or other family members want to chip in. Whatever the case may be, knowing the answer to this question is a good first step in calculating your overall wedding budget.

How to know if a family member is willing to contribute? Right after you said “YES!” fix a dinner with the family to better announce this wonderful news. I am sure your parents, uncles and aunties or grannies will automatically offer on paying for something! Be prepared to expect the opposite too!

Step 2: Focus on your contribution

Once you have an idea of how much financial assistance you will receive, focus on your own contribution. What are you contributing? Ask yourself how much you are willing to spend on the remaining wedding items? How much savings you will be able to gather from now on until the wedding day? Having a ballpark budget will be your guide to move to the next steps.

Step 3: Have an estimated head count

Obviously, the guest attending will affect the wedding budget. This information will exactly tell you which venue to pick, how much food and alcohol you will need to put in, how many chairs, how many invitations and so forth.

How to have a ballpark guest count? You can start reaching out to your friends and relatives to anticipate your amazing life-project by sharing your how-was-the-proposal story or by sending a save-the-date card!

Wedding stationery design - menu and placecards with citrus elementsPhoto credit:

Step 4: Choose your non-negotiables

You and your partner will probably have differing opinions about what one wedding item is at the very top of your priority list, so sit down and discuss about all the wedding items that you both would really love to have on the wedding day and find a compromise together – remember communication is the first factor for a successful marriage!

Once you decide your top priorities, you can allot a bigger percentage of your wedding budget to them—which will also solidify how much you’ll have left for the other wedding items that aren’t so super important to you.

Step 5: Do a deep research

Once you have all the priorities set, contact the vendors and tell them exactly what your expectations are and provide all the information you have gathered. The more precise you are in the inquiry, the less surprises you will find at the end specifically with those hidden costs.

Step 6: Do The Math

After completing all 5 steps above, it’s time to do a final reality check: Does your budget breakdown match the actual cost of your ideal wedding?

Once your estimated budget and your ideal wedding come pretty close to each other, create a spreadsheet and allot a certain dollar amount to each aspect of the event. We recommend using Google Sheets so that you can easily share your spreadsheet with your fiancé, parents, and anyone else who is contributing or helping you stay on budget.


  • Sensible Spending Tip 1: Start putting aside some savings as soon as you get engaged.
  • Sensible Spending Tip 2: Use your credit cards responsibly. It’s tempting to rack up credit card points during wedding planning but try to pay off the balance immediately so that you don’t accrue interest!
  • Sensible Spending Tip 3: Open a separate wedding checking account so it’s easy to see exactly where the money is going.

And, again, remember that it’s not about how much money you spend, it’s how much joy you feel. The memories you will have of your wedding will be unrepeatable and uncountable!


FREEBIE: Would you like to have an idea of how much does a wedding in Tuscany cost? Then book your free consultation here and I’ll be happy to send you a personalized budget sheet for you.